Accessibility of Public Sector Websites: Are you ready?

Following a consultation earlier this year, the government is implementing new regulations to make public sector websites and apps accessible to everyone, especially users with disabilities. The regulations are part of an EU directive. In order to comply, web sites must meet the requirements set out in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) at level AA.

Our ESB Agile platform has been built with accessibility by design, and the ongoing improvement of accessibility continues to be an important part of the product’s development. This is particularly relevant as accessibility standards and technologies are constantly evolving.

It is important to remember however that accessibility is not just about choosing the right technology platform: Accessibility is a set of principals that affect every aspect of the design and ongoing maintenance of on-line services – from selecting suitably contrasting colours to utilising simple, straight-forward language. A crucial part of improving accessibility is to improve the awareness among software suppliers, web designers and system administrators.

Accessibility Audit

If you are an existing user of the ESB Agile platform you are already well on your way to being fully compliant with the WCAG 2.0 guidelines. However, accessibility is not just about the platform – it is also influenced by the design of your forms and your overall web site design, including any custom styling for things like headers, footers and colour schemes. A poorly-designed ESB form can still violate the accessibility guidelines – even though the platform itself is compliant. For this reason we are offering our customers an audit of their on-line forms to identify any compliance issues and to provide help and advice to enable full compliance. Please contact your account manager for more information.

Not already an ESB user?

If you don’t currently use ESB to provide your on-line forms we can still provide advice to help you comply – just contact us to discuss your requirements.

The Pentagull Difference

At Pentagull we take a hands-on approach to building accessible products which includes considerable real-world testing using a range of assistive technologies and operating systems. All of our products – including both web-based and mobile apps, are tested for accessibility by real people using a range of real devices. A lot of software suppliers focus on the public-facing parts of their products but neglect the back-office elements that are accessed by local authority employees. By contrast, every aspect of the ESB Agile platform – including all the back-office and configuration areas of the system – are designed to be fully accessible. We are extremely proud of this achievement and believe that we are one of the few software suppliers who take a truly inclusive and universal approach to accessibility.

Other news stories

Yet another local authority benefitting from our HWRC booking system
Yet another local authority benefitting from our HWRC booking system

Bristol City Council are our latest customer to go live with our HWRC booking system. The integration of the system will provide effective traffic management and queue reductions at their existing Waste Reuse and Recycling Centres Avonmouth and Days Road. In addition to this, the system will also help manage congestion for the opening of the new site Hartcliffe Way, opening its doors on 21st June, by ensuring every visitor has their own allocated time slot.

ESB 22.04 Released
ESB 22.04 Released

Pentagull is pleased to announce the release of version 22.04 of the ESB platform. This release continues the recent trend of incremental improvements to reliability and usability as well as providing some feature enhancements.

Pentagull welcomes another two customers!
Pentagull welcomes another two customers!

Pentagull are thrilled to announce that South London Waste Partnership’s (SLWP) HWRC booking system and Hertfordshire County council’s commercial waste booking system have both gone live and are already receiving a high volume of bookings.

Providing our support for Ukraine
Providing our support for Ukraine

We are horrified by what’s going on in Ukraine, as I'm sure you are. Particularly cutting are the scenes showing young children and families fleeing a war zone or worse. At least 3 million people have fled their homes to escape conflict in Ukraine. Leaving behind jobs, belongings and loved ones, they now face an uncertain future. This morning we made a donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Things are all go at Pentagull at the moment!
Things are all go at Pentagull at the moment!

Here at Pentagull we are finishing the financial year off with a flurry of activity. South Lanarkshire Council are our latest customer to go live with our HWRC Booking System, meaning they are now seamlessly taking bookings for Carluke Recycling Centre.

Password Advice
Password Advice

We suggest to both our employees and customers that employing a strong password, with a mix of capitalised letters, numbers and special characters is the most effective way of reducing the chance of being compromised by unauthorised access. However, we don’t force regular password changes for several reasons.